Friday, August 22, 2014

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - GOING-TO-THE-SUN ROAD EDITION

Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 40 Cloudy and Cool with Showers High 54) 

We picked a good day to go to Glacier NP as we have been socked in with clouds and rain ever since. We decided to drive ourselves on the Going-to-the-Sun road since Jo has not been feeling well and if she started not feeling well we did not want to be on the Red Bus.

There was a lot of road construction which slowed us down and we could see the bad weather coming in so we did not make it all the way to West Glacier but still got some great scenery shots, and our first grizzly that we blogged about yesterday.

The drive was fine except for a couple of places on Logan's Pass where Bob pulled the mirrors in. He never had to stop but it did get close a couple of times. This was in a 1 ton dually so the road is probably doable for a lot of vehicles.

The scenery on the road was amazing.












The next blog entry will deal with all the waterfalls that you see on the way.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, August 21, 2014

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - OUR FIRST GRIZZLY EDITION

Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 44 A Couple of Thunderstorms High 58) 

As you can see in the heading above we are in the rainy season here in St. Mary Montana. According to the forecast Tuesday was probably the sunniest day that we will have during our stay so we headed to Glacier National Park. We took a lot of photos so have decided to break up our adventure into three posts. This one deals with our first sighting of a grizzly bear ever. Future posts will deal with the Going-to-the-Sun road and the waterfalls in Glacier NP.

Realizing that we don't have the best camera for faraway shots, you will have to click to enlarge them and then zoom, but this was close enough for us considering it was a grizzly bear.



Another shot



Our last shot



We got a much better view with our binoculars. The large hump of muscle was clearly evident. It was great to see our first grizzly.

Next blog entry we will see shots of our driving tour of the Going-to-the-Sun road.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WE SAW 'THE INTOUCHABLES'

Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 49 Storms High 68) 

The weather yesterday was clear until about 3p so we went to Glacier National Park visitors center and then drove the Going-to-the-Sun road. We have a lot of pictures to go through for a future blog entry.

In the mean time we will review 'The Intouchables' that we saw via Netflix. We usually only review movies currently showing but this one touched us. 




We saw a trailer on another movie we got from Netflix and decided to give it a try. Face value of this movie is one that we would not like for a number of reasons. It is a foreign film with subtitles, illegal drug use, sexual situations, and profanity. In spite of all that it got a rare 5 from us on the Netflix rating system.

The subtitles didn't bother us as much as they would have. We are watching the show 'Switched at Birth' on ABC Family which deals with deaf kids and have gotten used to them. The profanity didn't bother us as much because you are hearing the French and reading the words which seemed to dull the impact.

On to the movie which is based on a true story. An ex con shows up to a job interview just to get his papers signed so he can continue to receive his benefits. The job is to care for a man paralyzed from the neck down. The man is tired of all the pity he's getting after his paragliding accident, which he gets none from the ex con, and he decides to hire him for a one month trial period.

What follows is this unlikely pair learning more about each other and becoming life long friends. It is neat at the end of the movie to see the real duo and find out what has happened in their lives since.

A tough movie to recommend so again here is your caveat emptor; foreign film with subtitles, illegal drug use, profanity. If that doesn't scare you off then give this movie a try and then let us know what you think.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO ST. MARY MONTANA

Currently in St. Mary MT (Low 48 Afternoon Storms Possible High 77)

We left Kalispell Montana yesterday and headed to St. Mary Montana. It was approximately 140 miles, this is the route we took.


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It was a longer trip since we are towing a 36' fifth wheel and neither the 'Going-to-the-Sun Road' thru Glacier National Park nor Highway 89 is friendly to that setup. It was a nice relaxing drive without all the curves and switchbacks that we would have had to deal with and yet still very scenic. Thanks to our friends the Roving Riders who gave us the advice on the best route.

We are on the east side of Glacier National Park at the Glacier Park KOA. Here is an image from the web.




We are looking forward to seeing Glacier National Park and just enjoying the great scenery in the area.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 18, 2014

KALISPELL MONTANA AREA FOODIE UPDATE

Currently in Kalispell MT (Low 49 Cloudy Currently 56)
Heading to St. Mary MT (Currently 60 Cloudy with Storms High 81) 

Like our friends Paul and Margery from Living Our Dream do sometimes our sightseeing just involves food. This week in Kalispell has been about food. We found a couple of gems. First is Loula's Cafe in nearby Whitefish Montana. We had the best eggs benedict we have ever had, maybe it was the white truffle hollandaise.




The first meal Jo had the stuffed french toast 




which was excellent but the next meal she had the eggs benedict. What surprised us was how good the grits were, we are talking no doctoring needed on these grits, also the best we have ever had. We have added both the grits and the eggs benedict to 'Our Favorite Things! - Food' list on the left of our blog.

Their desserts were good so we got a wild huckleberry-cherry pie to go to sample down the road.




Next up on our foodie tour is the Knead Cafe in Kalispell. 




We got some of the best scones we have ever had, wild huckleberry with a lemon curd sauce. Wild huckleberries are in season can't you tell? We also got some Flathead Cherries while here.

It amazed us how much they could do and how good it was considering the size of the kitchen. We swear we may have more counter space in our Cameo.




Imagine eggs benedict with a beer cheddar sauce instead of hollandaise and you have the welsh eggs that the Knead Cafe served and they were excellent and added to 'Our Favorite Things' also. If we can't sightsee we can at least eat :-)

We are heading to St. Mary Montana today on the east side of Glacier National Park, Lord willing and the slideout comes in.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, August 17, 2014

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HI CAMPGROUND

Currently in Kalispell MT (Low 50 Storms Around High 77) 

We like the campground we are at, Rocky Mountain HI Campground in Kalispell Montana on the west side of Glacier National Park. There is a wooded area that must have been the old campground as the sites are really close together. We are in the open area so that we have more room and more importantly a good line of sight for our roof mounted satellite dish.

Here is the Cameo from the front.



The Cameo from the rear showing the dish, we got a great line of sight.



To the left you can see the wooded area.



To the right is the open area where we are. The roads are paved and the sites are gravel.



Here are two of our cats who also like the campground.



Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, August 16, 2014

HAD A "FAMOUS" DAY

Currently in Kalispell MT (Low 50 Occasional Storms High 74) 

Bob was finally able to use one of his birthday offers at Famous Dave's. 



Being away from the Kansas City area and all the great bbq there it was good to get a good bbq meal, at a discount made it even better. We had done a survey on a previous Famous Dave's visit so we had a free bread pudding that we took home for later.

After Famous Dave's we went to Famous Footwear.



A "Famous" day, get it :-)

We forgot that school is just about to start and everybody in town it seems was at this store. Luckily they didn't have the Birkenstocks that Jo was looking for and even with a BOGO 1/2 off plus a 20% off coupon we headed out of there real fast. As we get older we are liking crowds of any kind less and less.

We haven't done much in Kalispell since we got here. Started out hot and then when it cooled off it has been off and on storms. Add to that Jo hasn't been feeling well and we have just been taking it easy. We have sat outside and read when it has been clear. Here is the view of the Rockies from our chairs.



This unfortunately is our view a lot of the time with clouds and rain. There are sometimes we don't even know the mountains are there.



Our cats though cannot handle all the excitement and have to rest up.



Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014 CLAM CHOWDER TOUR

Currently in Kalispell MT (Low 55 Some Sun and Some Storms High 78) 

Now that we are inland we officially declare our '2014 Clam Chowder Tour' to be completed. 



We had some really good clam chowder and some that was surprisingly disappointing. Without further adieu here is:

5th place - Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach in Newport Oregon

4th - J's Fish N Chips in Lincoln City Oregon

3rd - Silver Salmon Grill in Astoria Washington

2nd - Castaways Seafood Grill in Long Beach Washington

Drumroll please, in first place was Ivar's in Bothell Washington. 



Ivar's has multiple sitdown restaurants, seafood bars and fish bars. Every place we have had their clam chowder it is the best. It is also available at Costco and to be quite honest it almost cracked the top 5 coming in at 7th out of 16 that we tried.

One offering we did not know how to categorize as it had a clam chowder base but added shrimp and three white cheeses was the 'Slumgullion' at Fish Tails Cafe in Newport. It is then baked until gooey and delicious and served with garlic bread. Whatever category it is in it was pretty darn good.



The two most disappointing chowders were from 42nd St. Cafe in Seaview Washington and Giovanni's in Morro Bay California. Both were thin with hardly any flavor and what clams they had were tough. The other food we had at 42nd St. Cafe was really good so the clam chowder surprised us.

TGIFridays had surprisingly good chowder for a chain not named Ivar's. 

Here is the 16 ranked in order top to last with notes on some.

Ivar's (multiple locations in the Seattle area and one in Spokane)

Castaways Seafood Grill in Long Beach WA

Silver Salmon Grille in Astoria OR, oyster stew also great

J's Fish N Chips in Lincoln City OR, creamy and had a smoky taste of ham or bacon

Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach in Newport OR

Full Circle Café in Long Beach WA

Ivar's from Costco

Tonys Crab Shack in Bandon OR

Phil's in Moss Landing CA - had more onion than any other chowder we think

Hofbrau in Morro Bay CA - fish n chips also good but Ivar's also still the best because fish is not as greasy

Dockside in Morro Bay CA - oyster chowder was better

Fisherman's Grotto in Charleston OR

Fisherman's Seafood Market in Coos Bay OR

Fridays in Simi Valley CA - surprisingly good for a chain

42nd St. Café in Seaview WA - very disappointing, thin, lots of clams but most were tough

Giovanni's in Morro Bay CA - very disappointing, thin, hardly any flavor

We look forward to our next clam chowder tour when we visit Maine next summer.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO KALISPELL MONTANA

Currently in Kalispell MT (Low 53 Sun and Some Clouds High 89) 

We left Coeur d'Alene yesterday and headed to Kalispell Montana. It was approximately 210 miles, another longer than normal day for us but we are in the land of wide open spaces. Here is the route we took.


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We drove by Flathead Lake on the way to Kalispell. Here is an image from the web since it was very hazy from the fires.




We were greeted by temperatures in the 90s but the 'forecast' is a few days of 80s then the 70s again, however much you can depend on the 'forecast' that is :-)

We also had to change our clocks for the first time in a long, long time to Mountain Daylight Savings Time.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CHANGE OF PLANS - ONE MORE DAY IN COEUR d'ALENE

Currently in Coeur d'Alene ID (Low 61 Sunny Early Currently 66)
Heading to Kalispell MT (Currently 60 Sun and Some Clouds High 91)

We decided to stay an extra day in Coeur d'Alene so that Bob could use some of his free birthday offers at Schlotzskys and Del Taco :-)

Actually we decided not to go after Jo got up and after her recent bout of not feeling well was just not up to the trip. Luckily our spot was available so we didn't have to move.

But there are so many places Bob cannot use the free birthday offers because there are not any locations close by including First Watch, Black Bear, Black Angus and Taco Bueno. We do make sacrifices to live this lifestyle :-) 

Unfortunately the Del Taco offer was from a corporate store and the one in the area is a franchise store so it could not be used. Same goes for the Schlotzskys offer which was for a specific store. Good thing we didn't stay for the birthday offers after all.

Jo is feeling better so today, Lord willing and the slideout comes in, we are off to Kalispell Montana.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 11, 2014

BLACKWELL ISLAND RV PARK

Currently in Coeur d'Alene ID (Low 55 Sunny Currently 60)
Heading to Kalispell MT (Currently 51 Sunny High 92)

Our week in Coeur d'Alene has come to an end. This is a real nice park, although a little expensive. Here is the Cameo from the front.




The Cameo from the back showing the satellite dish. Most sites in the park have a good line of sight since there are very few trees.




We are at the end of a row so the view is to the right.




The park is right along the Spokane River which is the outlet of Lake Coeur d'Alene.




The beach area in the park.




We are heading to Kalispell MT today, Lord willing and the slideout comes in.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, August 10, 2014

LAKE COEUR d'ALENE TOUR

Currently in Coeur d'Alene ID (Low 55 Hot with Plenty of Sunshine High 93) 

We are getting tired of the hot temperatures and hope to figure out a better route to get from one cool location like the coastline in Washington to Glacier National Park if we do this again.

We thought Jo was feeling better and it was a cooler day in the mid 80s so we recently took off for a driving tour of Lake Coeur d'Alene on Idaho 97, the Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway. The lake was formed by the glaciers and is 50 sq. miles, 32 miles in length and an unknown depth. Here is our first view of the lake. We wished it had not been so hazy.



A few more.






Along the scenic byway there were houses built into the side of the mountain overlooking the lake. Here is one example.



By now Jo was not feeling well so we headed back. A brief glimpse into the beauty of this area. We will have to come back to fully appreciate the area.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, August 9, 2014

TRIP PLANNING FOR NEXT SUMMER

Currently in Coeur d'Alene ID (Low 55 Mostly Sunny High 86) 

We generally don't like making reservations and just move when we feel like it but that does not work in the summer. Turns out a lot of families are on vacation and the campgrounds fill up. The first summer we just had reservations for Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day and planned our next stop a few days in advance. We ended up scrambling and missing out on campgrounds we wanted to stay at. The campgrounds that are still available are usually the ones you don't want to stay at. So for this summer Bob started in January researching and made reservations for Memorial Day to Labor beginning in March. For some of the prime waterfront or satellite friendly sites that was too late. Since we want to camp oceanfront if possible in Maine and in the Florida Keys Bob is in full planning mode right now.

We will first get back to the Kansas City area for family and doctors leaving Goodyear in early March. Our path will be then be east through Ohio and up the Seaway Trail to Niagara Falls then across Vermont and New Hampshire to Maine. We hope to spend a month at one campground in Maine to kind of recharge for the trip down the east coast to Florida for the winter. Here is our path to Maine.


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Here is Maine down to Florida.


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The hot weather has made for more time indoors for this planning so we guess it isn't all bad. If anybody has any tips on good campgrounds or sites along the way do not hesitate to let us know. It is a good thing we started early as the campgrounds in Maine have already started taking reservations for next summer.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, August 8, 2014

SAW 'GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY' AND 'EDGE OF TOMORROW'

Currently in Coeur d'Alene ID (Low 58 Partly Sunny High 83) 

Jo is feeling better but it was still a little too hot for a lot of in and out of the truck in the heat so we decided to see a couple of movies. 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is the first one we saw.



We really liked this movie, has lots of action and comedic touches throughout. We may have laughed more during this movie than a lot of comedies. Set in the Marvel universe but a different part of the universe. A young Peter Quill is abducted from Earth in 1988 and taken to this part of the universe. 20 years later he goes by Starlord and is a thief. Ties in with the Captain America and Avengers universe quite nicely with the quest to secure one of the infinity gems. Other infinity gems have been revealed in 'Thor 2' and 'The Avengers'. Peter steals one of the infinity gems and the adventure begins. The Guardians are drawn together in this adventure and end up being a dang good team. This is probably the best action movie we have seen in awhile. The rumor is that 'Avengers 2' set for May 2015 will also deal with the infinity gems. Looking forward to 'Avengers 2' and 'Guardians 2'.

We saw 'Edge of Tomorrow' next. 



We haven't seen discount movie houses a lot during our travels but the area has a good one, $3 per ticket. The drinks and popcorn are also cheaper. Wish we had found this earlier because there are a lot of movies we could have seen at a great price. 

If you don't like time travel movies avoid 'Edge of Tomorrow'. Maybe not time travel but more accurately a 'Groundhog Day' type movie. Tom Cruise lives the same day over and over and ..... Like the poster says 'Live. Die. Repeat.'

We liked this movie too and if you can get around the 'Groundhog Day' aspect there is a lot of action in this one too.

Till next time,


Bob and Jo

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

REACHED A BLOGGING MILESTONE - 600TH POSTING

Currently in Coeur d'Alene ID (Low 62 Mostly Sunny High 89) 

Our recent blog post titled, "Catching Flickr Up On Our Travels" was our 600th since we began in 2008. Here is a brief summary.

Here is a shot of our first camping night in early September 2009 at Sterling State Park on Lake Erie in Michigan. We were on our way back to the Kansas City area after picking up our new Cameo from M&M Campers in Trenton Michigan.



At first we blogged about getting our home ready for sale and the planned adventures like the stripping of wallpaper and the sometimes unplanned adventures like getting dust everywhere from sanding after patching the wallpaper divets.

We started off slowly with 10 postings in 2008. We did not begin fulltiming until September 2009 and so we only had 17 postings that year. 2010 we were figuring out what to blog about and had 60, then 123 in 2011, 144 in 2012, 120 in 2013 and surprisingly this one will the 130th already this year. We seem to have hit our blogging stride.

We began blogging as a journal for us to help us remember when we finally hang up the keys. The blog was also for our friends and family to follow along with us. They certainly have but it is wonderful how many new friends we have "met" because of our blog. Someday we hope to meet all of them in person.

We didn't do much yesterday as it was too hot and Jo was not feeling well. Temperatures are "supposed" to cool off into the 80s the rest of the week, hopefully Jo will be feeling better today and we can see more of this beautiful area.

It has been an amazing adventure, here's hoping for another 600 postings. 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO COEUR d'ALENE IDAHO

Currently in Coeur d'Alene ID (Low 58 Mostly Sunny and Very Warm High 95) 

Yesterday we left Wenatchee River County Park in Monitor Washington and headed east to Blackwell Island RV Park in Coeur d'Alene Idaho. It was approximately 210 miles, this is the route we took.


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It was a long distance for us and it took 4 hours but it was just one of those days where it seemed to take forever. We finally arrived at Blackwell Island RV Park and it is really neat on the Spokane River which is the outlet of Lake Coeur d'Alene. There are paths along the river, here is Bob enjoying the waterfront.



We hope to take more pictures of the park and lake later in the week. In the mean time here is an aerial view taken from their website.




Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 4, 2014

WENATCHEE RIVER COUNTY PARK

Currently in Monitor WA (Low 62 Sunny Currently 70) 
Heading to Coeur d'Alene ID (Currently 66 Mostly Sunny High 95)

A really nice park close to Wenatchee and a very nice rate of $30 per night which is a lot lower than some of the places we have been on this trip. Here is the Cameo from the front.




The Cameo from the back.




The satellite dish pointing between the trees. Even with all the trees we got a spot (#43) that we could get reception. There are just a few that could get reception, we might try #16 next time.



Looking right from our site.




Looking left.





The park is along the banks of the Wenatchee River. A few steps and you are at the river.






There was this neat carving in the park.




A nice mural on the side of the bathrooms.




We really like this park and if it is ever less than 100 degrees we will be back. Seriously, this park and area would be great at about 70 degrees :-)

Today we are heading to Coeur d'Alene Idaho, Lord willing, and the slideout comes in. It will still be hotter than we would like but forecasted to be a few degrees cooler than this week.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo